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tv   State of the Union  CNN  March 7, 2010 11:00pm-12:00am EST

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will make it a good candidate. just a couple seconds here for some of your feedback. someone, we were talking about the story of the catholic charities, "would anyone tell muslims that they must accept home o'sexuality and gay marriage in their mosques? it is our faith, not pc." we're talking about the workplace, not church here. different story. urban prep chicago school fantastic story. thanks for the update. we're glad you liked it. i'm don lemon. thanks for watching. thanks for watching. have a great week, everyone. -- captions by vitac -- it has become washington's most overused and least believable word. >> my remember friends. >> my democratic friends. >> where was my friend from kentucky? >> friends on the other side. >> my good friends from the other side. >> my friend from north dakota. >> john mccain. >> my good friend. >> these friends are locked in a world-class death match. >> mr. etheridge in north carolina moves that the house concur in the senate amendment to the house amendment to the is senate amendment with an amendment. and i thought, boy, that is really a procedural mouthful. and you know what it means?
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it's a procedural way to screw the minority, the republican party in this house. >> these friends aren't friends. i'm candy crowley, and this is "state of the union." today -- >> what we saw is in fact a very calculated and cynical strategy to try and bring the work of the american people to a halt. >> the man in charge of helping democrats get elected to the house this fall. and a retiring democrat who may say no to his party's pleas to vote yes on health care reform. then, tom delarks the helay, th. the man republicans used to ram through president bush's agenda. >> i would have loved to have been right in the middle of that health care reform fight. >> everyone calls it the end game. the president says he wants an up or down vote on health care reform before he leaves on a trip for asia. that leaves ten days. a ten-day deadline. but we've passed this way before. >> i'm confident that both the house and the senate are going to produce a bill before the
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august recess. >> this window between now and the august recess, i think is going to be the make or break period. >> i never believe anything is do or die. but i really want to get it done by the august recess. >> we may not be able to get the bill out of the senate by the end of august or the beginning of august. that's okay. >> my strong hope is that we get health care done by the end of this year. >> here's what i ask congress, though. don't walk away from reform. not now. not when we are so close. >> i therefore ask leaders in both houses of congress to finish their work and schedule a vote in the next few weeks. >> if health care is going to get to the president in the next ten days, it will happen because democrats like chris van holg convince democrats like brian baird to support the measure. so let me start with you and the basic question, is health care going to pass?
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do you right now have a mortal lock on 216 votes? >> i believe it will pass. do we have a mortal lock? no. because people are still looking at some of the changes that are being made to the bill. the president of course sent congress a letter with some additional ideas based on the bipartisan summit he had. so until people have a final product that they're able to look at and the congressional bijt office, o budget office, our referee on ujt issues, says this will do what the earlier bills did, i think it's going to be hard to get people to commit. but i think the trend is in the right direction because people see that the status quo is absolutely broken and they're seeing these skyrocketing health premiums from around the country. they're seeing that people continue to lose their health coverage every day, whether it's because of costs or because they lose their job and then they lose their health care. if you ask people now, i think do you want us to stop and walk away, the clear answer is no. >> i'll get back to that point in a second. but as one of those who is not committed at this very moment,
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you voted no on the house bill the last time around. what is it about the senate bill that you all will be voting on through this reconciliation process that makes you even consider voting yes? >> well, the first thing is i want to absolutely agree with chris. there's no question that we need to reform. the current system, the rising costs, the numbers of uninsured, the ability to be rejected if you have a pre-existing condition is absolutely unacceptable. we have to do something. and i actually applaud president obama and the democratic party for taking this difficult challenge on. the house bill, you know, i think i'm in a place where many americans are. they see the need for reform. the question is is this the best way we can do reform? it is very complicated. it will be expensive, though, to its credit, both bills, the house and the senate bill, would be largely paid for and actually reduce the deficit over time. >> so if you're convinced of that, why don't you just say yeah, i'm going to vote for it? >> i would have approached it a good bit differently. i would like to see us start and say what are the things we can agree on? i think most americans disagree
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that you cannot discriminate against pre-existing conditions. i think it makes a lot of sense to be able to buy policies across state lines, so you have competition and you can carry your policy with you if you move or lose your job. the complexity i think worries a lot of people. when you read these bills, they're very long, very complicated because they build on an existing complicated system. and it's not really a system. it's a hodgepodge. we have medicare a, b, d, medicaid, state programs, s-chip, et cetera. that worries a lot of people and, frankly, troubles me. >> congressman, you're retiring, and one of the things we've heard out there is the pitch to retiring democrats is take one for the team here, we really need your vote, we've got some problems with those who have problems with the abortion language, so go ahead and take one for the team. how does that pitch strike you? >> it has no impact on me whatsoever. and here's why. i spent 23 years of my life delivering health care. i was a neuropsychologist before i came to congress. that was the career and profession i chose because
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health care matters so much to me. so at the end of the day to say, well, do this for political reasons or don't do it for political reasons makes no difference to me. the only thing i care about is this the best policy we can do under the circumstances for the american people? >> congressman baird is concerned about some things that are not going to change in this bill, as he just articulated. so you know, what do you say to get this vote here? >> well, first, i would not ask brian to vote for this just for the team, and i have not asked him to do it. i've asked brian to look at the bills as he has and i'm sure he will wait until the congressional budget office comes back with its analysis. that's what we would expect of any member -- >> his complaints were not about the budget. >> when it comes to things like pre-existing conditions, these bills prohibit discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, and what became very clear at the white house discussion is that the republican alternative does not prohibit discrimination on those things. they create a high-risk pool, which has been tried in many
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states, but the problem is it hasn't worked successfully. we do have exchanges. we have exchanges that have a referee out in the field just like the employees' health benefit plan that members of congress use. that's the model that we have that people can have that choice and that competition. i believe that a lot of the issues that brian has raised are addressed in the bill and what has to happen is as the changes, as the most recent changes the president has made and suggested are incorporated, i hope it will meet his test, but on those two points that he raised, these bills are a lot better off than the status quo. they make americans a lot better off than the status quo. >> you're nodding. so you're ready to vote yes? >> no, what i wanted to say, chris is absolutely right. you've got a system, again, it's not a system, a hodgepodge, an a3458 ga mai amalgamation of prior programs that doesn't work very well. chris is absolutely right. this is an improvement. it's as they say in spanish, qu9 m "menos mal," less bad, for
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sure. the house bill was better than the status quo. i think the senate bill is better than that. my problem is i still see a number of difficulties with the whole structure and my personal struggle, quite frankly, is could we not do this in a much more elegant, direct, simple, straightforward way? i think we could. i doubt i'll get a chance to do that, so the difficult choice for some of us is to say this is not the bill i would write by a darn sight but it's certainly better than the status quo. what would we do if we don't have this option? >> you would vote against it if you come to a conclusion you don't like it, even if it meant health care went down? >> yes. >> i want to -- >> let me clarify that. the problem is if i think we can come up with a better solution, okay, to just say health care reform goes down and therefore nothing ever happens, that would be a tragedy. and so that's the choice. i don't think this bill is what i would like to see us do if i could -- if i ran the universe, as it were. but i don't get to do that. so the status quo is unsustainable.
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>> just on that point, for example, i wish we had a public option going forward. i think that would create more competition. >> public option out, by the way, because there's a lot of pressure because of reconciliation. you could slip it in if you wanted into the fixes. are you going to do that? >> my understanding is although there was clearly a majority on the house side to do it it's not clear at all there's a majority in the senate to do it. and obviously -- so if there's not a majority in the senate to do it, obviously you can't incorporate it in the final bill. >> okay. let me -- another one of your problems that you'll both recognize here. i just want to may a little bit from him. >> we've said we will maintain current law, no public funding for abortion. >> we will not compromise that principle or belief. >> now, i know you're going to argue that there is no public funding for abortion in that bill. but let's get beyond that. congressman stupak believes that there is funding. how do you get around this particular issue because he could take up to a dozen democrats with him and that begins to get into dicy territory.
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>> well, we're going to continue to work with bart stupak and those members for whom that was the biggest concern. because you have in the senate pro-life members like senator casey, senator nelson, all of whom were clearly satisfied that the way the senate did it met our objective of making sure that no public funds can go to abortion. the issue is, what can you use your own money for? in other words, right now today, if you want to go out with your own money and purchase a health care plan, you have that option. and so -- >> sure. and we know that he would argue, well, if you give them a subsidy you really are subsidizing abortion coverage. so the fact of the matter is he's not convinced by that argument. so have you lost stupak and the dozen or so congressmen that will go with him? >> i don't think we've lost -- well, obviously, bart stupak as of today says he's not satisfied. we will continue to explore ways to get it done, but as has been made clear by the
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parliamentarian under the reconciliation process, the majority rule process, there are limits to the changes you can make in the senate bill. so this is going to be a discussion, and we are going to be engaged in that dialogue for some time till we get it done. >> i would love to be in on the discussion. so invite me anytime. let me ask you, if you are both comfortable with the notion that a bill which encompasses 1/6 of the economy is going to be passed or may be passed out of congress and signed by the president that is all democratic, that not a single republican vote, a democratic president-s that a comfortable place for you all to be? >> let me put a mark on that. i opposed the house procedure. when the bill came up before the house, i felt we should have allowed the republicans to offer amendments. we did not. i think that was a mistake. it's part of why i voted no on the rule. having said that, when you watch the president's summit, time after time after time he said to the republicans, is there
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anything in this you would agree with? and they dodged the question. you know, if you don't have -- tom delay was on "dancing with the stars." we don't have a dance partner. we don't have someone on the other side who's seriously willing to say, if you do these things, you will have our support. and the reason is they see it as such a potent political weapon. and so they're taking the health care for 300 million -- >> you think no republican, no republican in the senate or the house, has any interest in getting health care to the uninsured or in getting rid -- >> no, i'm not saying that. what i am saying is that they're i think at this point not willing to come even a little bit of distance to try to find common ground because they're so eager to have this as a political weapon in the fall, and that's terribly unfortunate. if that's the case, and if a handful of people in the senate can tie things up with record numbers of filibusters, you're left relatively no choice. but let's be clear about two things. one, the choice you're left with is a majority vote, which i think most people think is how we ought to do things anyway. and secondly, the republicans used reconciliation multiple
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times including for the mother of all deficit increases, the bush tax cut. >> sure. without arguing reconciliation because i think that's -- we've sort of argued that before and parties tend to switch sides depending whether they're in the minority or majority and how they feel about it. but the fact of the matter is that this is a humongous bill that is going change a segment -- it's going to touch every american household, and not a single republican is going to vote for it. and i think it is hard for people to believe that every republican up there is not the least bit interested in helping americans get health care. >> nobody has said that they're not the least bit interested. but what we've said is put your plan on the table. and they did put their plan on the table. the congressional budget office has looked at it. it's available on the internet. everybody should take a look at it. it only covers an additional 3 million people. over the next ten years. compared to over 30 million people that are covered by the house and senate and the president's plan. it does not prohibit insurance companies from denying people based on preexisting conditions. back in september, when the president addressed the
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congress, all our republican colleagues stood on their feet and clapped when the president said he wanted to make that prohibition real. it's not in their plan. and that's what became very clear at the white house. and so i would ask the alternative question. are we really going to say that just because republicans aren't going to support a plan that advances the cause of health care reform that we're going to say oh, time out, we're not going to do it? >> i want to switch the topic slightly to politics. we take a lot of our political cues from those late-night shows, including "saturday night live," where i think you sometimes can get into what's in the groundwater out there. this was from last night's "saturday night live." >> finally, after decades of effort, we will have real health care reform, even though as i have said it may not be "popular." or "viewed favorably by americans." or "what the people want us to do."
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>> so the question here is, and the president came close to saying it himself, not just the person playing the president, are democrats willing to go to vote for this bill at the cost of their own seats because your job is to get democrats elected. this still shows that, you know, people would like health care reform but they don't like this particular health care reform. >> well, what we're finding, candy, as you know, is that people do like the individual elements of the bill. twhaf had concerns with is the overall package -- >> well, it's -- >> well, it's also because of the back and forget in the process. for example, when the senate put that nebraska deal in there, understandably people were upset. i mean, that was a ridiculous deal. >> they were upset before, though. they don't like the size of the bill. they don't like how much it costs. and yes, they like elements of the bill, but it's the totality of it that has turned people off. and you have to sell that this november. in all of these swing districts. and you know from swing districts. your congressmen are going to have to sell this. and it looks like a very uphill
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climb, particularly if you're going to have a jobless rate at 9.5. >> but at the end of the day people are also facing these skyrocketing premiums. they're all getting their notices right now saying if you do nothing your family could go bankrupt, your small business is in trouble, the federal government's in trouble, it's absolutely unsustainable. and then they look at last year when the economy was really down and see that the health insurance companies made record profits in a year when everybody else was struggling and at the same time dropped 2.7 million americans from their rolls, and it's very clear that right now you have a system that's controlled and run by the insurance companies, and people do not want that. so i think at the end of the day we're going to be able to make a very strong case that you cannot continue with the status quo and that the republicans have not presented a viable alternative for change. >> let me give you the last word here. and that is even the white house believes unemployment will be around 9.5% or so in november. you've got a health care bill that right now looks unpopular.
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it is a tough, tough sell to say, well, the economy would have been worse had we not done something. what's your short answer to how difficult it's going to be for your brethren who are running for re-election? >> let me put a human face on the debate. a friend of mine has kidney cancer. he lost his job through no fault of his own. the economy turned around. his entire life now is focused on trying to find a job that has a health insurance plan that will cover him for his health needs. his whole life. our democratic bill would try to correct that. now, again, i think it's much more complex than i would have favored it. but for that person relative to his situation he understands why there needs to be reform. >> okay. i have to leave it there, congressman baird, congressman van hollen. thank you so much for joining us. we appreciate it. and when we come back, tom delay on the democrats and their problems. >> i think what they're doing wrong is because of arrogance. don: now get free delivery of walmart's $10 90-day generic prescriptions...
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tom delay is arguably one of the most effective and inarguably one of the most controversial house republican leaders in history. first as the house majority whip and then majority leader, delay earned the nickname the hammer for his strict enforcement of party discipline. forced out of his leadership post after his 2005 criminal
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indictment on charges to conspire to violate election law, delay was also admonished multiple times by the ethics committee. he eventually resigned his seat and returned to texas. he's a political consultant now, but not much else has changed. i caught up with tom delay in his home town of sugarland, texas. delay's case is still in the courts. he is still controversial. >> you know, i want to first sort of talk about the view has got to be different from here watching things happen as opposed to being in the midst of it. when you look at what's going on in congress and all this talk about how it's never been as bad as this now, do you buy that? >> no. i don't think it's changed much at all. >> what about the tone of things? do you think it's gotten nastier, or does that not seem changed to you? >> well, i think obviously for me the tone has gotten nastier. the criminalization of politics is nastier. it used to be just ruining somebody's reputation. now they want to put you in jail and bankrupt you and destroy
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your family. >> what's the status of the case right now? >> well, we've been sitting for four years in the appeals courts. the district attorney of travis county knows that they can't win this care, they've indicted me on laws that don't exist. so they're keeping it in the appeals process. >> it's got to grind on you at some level as you maintain your innocence and it's four years later, your case is still in court, unproven -- not proven and still going on. i can't imagine how it doesn't at some level make you bitter about politics? >> no, i knew what i was getting into. i mean, i knew the state of play in the game. i thought, probably mistakenly, i could fight them off. i did for 11 years. and i thought that if i could beat them maybe that would stop this criminalization of politics. unfortunately, i see it's continuing.
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>> the ethics committee did find there were some rebukes in there or some public admonishments and that kind of thing. when you look back, do you think i shouldn't have done this, this was clear -- >> no. i don't agree with the admonishment. first of all, i think they abused their power. the ethics committee started this admonishment thing, and it destroys your due process. it's not a sanction of the house. it's not in the rules of the house. it's not even in the rules of the ethics committee. it's a warning letter. that used to be sent to you privately saying you ought to look out for what you're doing here and there. but now it's used as a sanction. look what's happening to charlie rangel. >> i was going to ask you -- >> he was found by the ethics committee to not have violated the rules that he was charged with. yet they sent an admonishment, which is not a sanction. and the press picks it up and acts like, you know, he ought to serve time in jail because he got a letter from the ethics
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committee. but he never got to answer the ethics committee. >> well, he has now stepped down temporarily he says from the ways and means committee, big powerful chairmanship that he's -- >> he should have. >> you think he should? because you sounded a little bit like you were defending him. >> no. he should have because nancy pelosi set the standard. when i was admonished, she called for me to step down and demanded that i step down, called me corrupt, and it ought to apply to charlie rangel too. the same thing happened to him. and then she tried to defend him. now, you've got to be consistent. i don't agree with it. but you've got to be consistent. >> when you look at it, and i will give you a chance to do some political consulting, i'm going to give you a chance to politically consult for nancy pelosi and for senator reid. they've got a democrat-controlled house, a democrat-controlled senate, a
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democrat in the white house. and yet they're having some trouble getting health care through -- >> i think what they're doing wrong is because of arrogance. they have huge majorities. we never had more than a 17-vote majority and we got down to a 5-vote majority at one time. never did we have 60 votes in the senate. and you would think you could pass anything and pass it quickly with those kinds of majorities. why can't they? it's because they are going back in rooms and then telling the members take it or leave it. you can't do that. that's obvious. i invented something called grow the vote. because -- and we would get to an issue early on, before a bill was even introduced, and we would work through the regular process. and we knew which members were having problems, and we'd take care of those problems. so that by the time it got to the floor they wanted to vote for it because they had ownership of it.
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nancy pelosi writes the bill, hands it to the chairman, says get it out of committee in an hour and we're going to the floor, we're going to debate it in an hour and i'll break arms if you vote against me. that will come to haunt you and bring you down. >> well, she would probably disagree with that rendition of how she gets things done. and in fact, she's been able to pass a lot on her side. it's really been the senate side because of the rules and a number of other things. so when you say those sorts of things come back to haunt you, let's talk about the elections this november. >> well, if the republicans don't do anything, they're going to win seats. how many seats? i think we don't know yet. i don't think the republicans are prepared to maximize their votes. i would have liked to see, and i tried to do some of this when i left congress, i would like to see more organization, more coordination, more communications on the outside in support of what the republicans
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are doing. we have no organization, nothing near what the democrats have built over the last ten years. they have one of the most powerful political coalitions i have ever seen. but there is a rage in this country, and i've been sitting outside of d.c. for a long time, that i have never witnessed before. and we don't know yet what the impact of that's going to be. >> but we also see when we poll that rage, if you will, that people are just as angry, if not a little more angry, at republicans than they are at democrats. and i look at this past week with senator bunning and the holding up the unemployment benefits, emergency legislation. because you know that one of the raps against republicans is that it's an angry party of white men who don't really care about the unemployed or the uninsured. and it doesn't seem to me that
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the bunning situation helped your cause. >> no, i think he rallied people around him, to be honest with you. it didn't help the republican cause because the republicans didn't rally around him. the elected republicans. >> so you think the problem here was not jim bunning but that people didn't go stand by him? >> the rage against republicans that's out there is they want to see republicans stand on principles and fight for those principles. >> but it's not a mistake, you don't think, to fight for those principles really at the detriment to the people who are the most vulnerable in our society right now? >> nothing would have happened if the democrats would have just paid for it. people would have gotten their unemployment compensation. i think bunning was brave in standing up there and taking it on by himself. >> but this particular time, you know, to halt people's jobs that were working on public
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infrastructure jobs, to put in jeopardy people's unemployment benefits and their health care just was not exactly the right vehicle to make that stand. you don't think that's a pr problem at the very least? >> i really don't. if it's communicated properly. you know, there is an argument to be made that these extensions of the unemployment benefits keeps people from going and finding jobs. in fact, there's a study -- there are some studies that have been done that show that people stay on unemployment compensation and they don't look for a job until two or three weeks before they know the benefits are going to run out. >> congressman, that's a hard sell, isn't it? i mean, it's -- >> it's the truth. >> you're going to say people are unemployment because they want to be. >> well, it is the truth. and people in the real world know it. and they have friends and they
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know it. sure, we ought to be helping people that are unemployed find a job, but we also have budget considerations that are incredibly important, especially now that obama is spending moneys that we don't even have. >> when we come back, tom delay on the power of the tea party activists. also, his unlikely stint on "dancing with the stars." ♪ wild thing ♪ i think i love you i was active, eating healthy. i thought i was in great shape. so i was surprised when my doctor told me i still had high cholesterol.
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basic package. good choice. only meineke lets you choose your service, choose your savings. like an oil change for just $19.95. meineke. let's continue my interview with the former republican house majority leader, tom delay. i spoke to him in his hometown of sugarland, texas. >> do you see any danger at all for republicans with the tea party activists, many of whom don't have a my party no matter what view of the republican party, they don't necessarily even view themselves as republicans? >> no, i'm rooting for the tea party activists. mainly because -- and we saw it in the tx text primaries. i watched it very closely. the tea party activists ran a lot of people against republican incumbents. and it goes back to what you were talking about, where the
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tea party activists don't like what's going on but they don't like the republicans either, and it was a real message to the republicans that they'd better welcome these people in. because now they voted in the texas primary. they are republicans. >> if the tea party activists don't get a candidate that they like, isn't the danger for the republicans that they just sit home? aren't you really sort of splitting the party at this point rather than building it? >> oh, i think it's a great opportunity for republicans. if they'll take it. they now have these people in their party. they ought to be reaching out to them and accommodating them and working with them. >> what about -- what about tom delay's political future? is there -- have you ever thought i might run for something again? >> i'd probably have to get a divorce first. hopefully, my political future is i get to go back on "dancing with the stars." >> that's so funny. because so many people -- when i said, well, do you have any ideas about what to ask tom
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delay? they said ask him about "dancing with the stars." why did you do it? >> i just thought it would be the greatest thing, the best fun, and it was the best fun i ever had. it was just amazing. i mean, it was a lot of work, and my feet killed me the whole time, and i broke both feet. but i just had the best time. >> and what about the image? what would you -- how would you like to reshape how people view tom delay? did you feel compelled to do that? >> and you're going to think i'm crazy, but i really don't care. i am who i am. and i did what i did. and i'm proud of what i did. i'm proud of the republican record. i've had a great career. i've done the things i wanted to do. the only regret i have is as majority leader i was starting us on agendas that told would change the whole structure of our government and move us toward a constitutional government. i mean, my last agenda i was
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taking on we had five bills passed out of the house limiting the jurisdiction of the courts to take on judicial activism. i wanted to reform entitlements every year like appropriations so that we could really get to entitlements and someday get rid of them. and we started that. we actually cut spending for the first time since ronald reagan, a real cut in discretionary spending. we beefed up our security. i mean -- >> how excited you get talking about the things you might have been able to do had you stayed. it sounds a little bit like you might miss it. >> no, not really. i don't. 22 years was enough for anybody. especially in a position -- it's -- you know, you're working 12, 14 hours a day, scheduled every 15 minutes. i was getting exhausted anyway.
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so no, i really don't miss it. well, i shouldn't say it that way. i would have loved to be right in the middle of that health care reform fight. >> you can take the politician out of washington. awfully hard to take washington out of the politician. up next we'll go to iraq, where critical elections today could impact the withdrawal of u.s. troops. and later, a tribute to some real-life heroes who have risked life and limb in iraq, as portrayed in the oscar-nominated film "the hurt locker."
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in the face of threats and deadly attacks, iraqis voted in their country's parliamentary elections earlier today. the stakes are extremely high not just for iraq but for the united states and the planned withdrawal of u.s. troops. cnn's arwa damon joins us from baghdad. arwa, thanks for doing this. first of all, just give me a summary of what happened today. >> reporter: well, candy, we had a fair number of attacks this morning. at least 30 mortar rounds rained down on baghdad. there were roadside bombs that exploded outside of half a dozen polling stations. and yet despite this we did see
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iraqis come out to vote. a little bit of a slow trickle at first. but toward midday a fair number of voters. the specific polling center that we were at said that they had around 50% turnout. and one really has to commend the iraqis for undertaking that risk because also you have to remember that the islamic state of iraq, the insurgent umbrella organization with al qaeda at its head, had specifically told people to stay home on this day. it had vowed to derail these elections. and it is the organization that has been responsible for the most spectacular and devastating attacks. and the iraqis that we spoke to at this polling center were saying that yes, of course they were afraid, of course they were worried, but they felt that this was their duty, not necessarily because they thought that this election was going to change their life but that it was a step forward in changing their children's lives. >> arwa, we have talked about how this is an important election for the u.s. because president obama has said he wants to have all combat troops withdrawn from iraq by august 31st. is that going to happen?
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in particular, tell me a little bit about what you got out of your interview with prime minister maliki on that score. >> reporter: well, that was an interesting interview that we had with the prime minister because up until then he had been very much trying to portray himself as the strong man. he had been saying that his security forces would be ready to take on responsibilities no matter what and that they would be sticking to that u.s. timetable. but in our interview he said he was open to asking the u.s. military to stay longer if conditions on the ground required it and if the security forces were in fact not ready. the issue with this election is that afterwards the various political parties' blocs that come out on top are going to begin jockeying for power. they're going to be forming alliances there are going to be back door deals. and there are going to be losers. the question is whether or not those losers resort to violence and also whether or not these groups that are right now outside of the political process make good on their threat to up their attacks if in their view the government that emerges is
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as sectarian as this one. and of course an uptick in violence, a significant uptick in violence would impact the u.s. military's ability to go forward because they want to have a responsible withdrawal, they don't want to leave behind a situation that is even more chaotic that would perhaps require them to come back to iraq. >> so in a couple of words, the voting went well today in baghdad, as well as can be expected, but it's not over yet. arwa damon in baghdad. thank you so much. coming up, in our "american dispatch," what tonight's academy awards could teach us about vote counting in a tight race with several candidates. but first a check of the evening's headlines. i'm don lemon. here's what's happening right now. two senior pakistani officials say an american member of al qaeda has been arrested in pakistan. but u.s. officials caution that's not been confirmed. the american, adam gadahn, grew up in california and is accused of treason. most americans recognize him for his high-profile inflammatory web videos condemning the u.s. and praising the 9/11 attackers.
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north korea says it won't move forward on nuclear disarmament in response to joint u.s.-south korean military exercises. those exercises are just getting under way and will last ten days. talks with north korea weren't really going anywhere before this. but because of the exercises north korea now claims it is free to build up nuclear defenses. u.s. troops are pulling out of haiti's devastated capital. it's been almost two months since a quake hit port-au-prince. and now that american forces are leaving, u.n. peacekeepers and local police are going to have to step up. more than 500,000 people are still homeless and living in tent cities. those are your headlines this hour. i'm don lemon. keeping you informed, cnn, the most trusted name in news. across america, people with diabetes have...
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i discovered how to wake up feeling great. there's so much to discover in the accu-chek aviva system. why not start your discovery today? all: i did. we thought explaining reconciliation was hard until one of our staffers told us about democracy oscar style. there's a new voting process in place for the academy awards
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tonight and election officials may want to take notice. 15 u.s. president have been elected by less than 50% of the popular vote, including bill clinton twice and george bush in 2000. it's been the same with the oscars since 1945. last year, in the best picture category, academy members voted for one of five films. final tally is always a secret but if it were closed, "slumdog millionaire" could have won with as little as 24% of the vote. this year, ten films try to make sure that tonight's winner will have more than 50%. the top film might only have 15% of the votes but voters this year are ranking their films in order of preference, one to ten, though they are not required to rank all ten.
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the first-choice votes are split into ten pile, one for each movie. if one does not receive over 50%, the few west with the first choice votes is eliminated and then counted and distributed to the nine films remaining. if there's still no majority, the one with the lowest vote is eliminated and the ballots are counted and redistributed. lower preferences counted and redistributed. again and again, until one film receives over 50%. does this complicate it? it is. but there will be no hanging chads, no needs for the supreme court or an electoral vote. the last time preference voting was used at the academy, the winning film was "the lost weekend," the first wife of ronald reagan, who won both of his presidential elections with more than 50% of the popular vote. changing the mood in just a few minutes before the oscar, we wanted to see who would be the
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favorite to win best picture. >> lay it on the charge nice and sweet. >> "the hurt locker," the controversial story of an explosive ordinance team in iraq. this week, foreign policy magazine uses the photo essay to pay tribute to the real teams who risked their lives at those hidden exclusives killing military personnel. foreign policy notes that 64 members of explosive ordinance teams have died in iraq and afghanistan. my company's budget insurance. this is help protect and care for your employees at no cost to your company insurance. with aflac, your employees pay only for the coverage
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publishes are strict people and we took them seriously when we found out that karl rove's book would not be available until the release date next tuesday. so last friday we sent charles riley to check out d.c. bookstores who said that he was in the business of selling books and sold us two of these. so here's an advanced look at a book at an age when the kiss and tell jenre is and also affecting
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when the book broadens out with the background. the divorce of his parents and the clues about the sexuality of his father. finally, rove is rove. uncompromising in his political beliefs and acute in his observations and brutal in his rhetoric. there are scores settled here. in 2004 he was most worried about john edwards, a person of considerable skills but ungrounded and without much wisdom, inordinately in love with his looks. rove writes of al gore, he exaggerated, ruin teenly made stuff up and even lied. rove may be are retired from politics but he wasn't put away his brass knuckles. thank you so much for watching "state of the


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